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TDI Conversions Discussions on converting non TDIs into TDIS. More general items can be answered better in other sections. This is ideal for issues that don't have an overlap and are very special to swaping engines.

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Old October 28th, 2018, 23:25   #1
Veteran Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: St.Paul, MN
TDI(s): 02 golf ALH
Fuel Economy: 42 stock, 47-49 now
Default 04 honda insight ALH 4T65E

So, it has come to this. Poorly prepared to make a thread, forgot to take pictures for almost all of this so far.
While tossing the 0A6 in my golf I realized that I'm making conversion axle shafts and mounts to do so. This is already engine swap territory, and I'm more of a honda weenie than a VW guy, honestly. Driving the insight around I realized that the golf is a very handy size, so it'll stick around until it tears in half from rust.
Bought an 04 insight with the CVT, put about 300 miles on it to see 'how it do', 'what it be', 'am I able to drive this car without needing to shoot hordes of gay-bashers', and all of life's other important questions. It was amusingly slow, handled kind of poorly, lacked cruise control, the hybrid system charged at steady state cruise until the battery was topped up so it wouldn't regen brake, and applied power when I didn't really care for it to. Once the hybrid battery had set enough codes to stop trying to work it made it even slower.
So, this answered the question of "TDI and dumb automatic, or kubota and stock CVT with hybrid stuff?"
Got a buick regal GS from a friend, had trans issues so he parked it. Sold it to me for $150. Got $200 for the motor, still got the catalyst and wheels, dragged in the rest to the junkyard for nothing. Direct clutch had burnt up, 4th gear hub was almost worn through the splines, various thrust bearings were burned up. Had the 1.21 overdrive chain in it, and a 3.05 final drive, so 2.93 final drive. Got a 2.86 final drive for an overall final drive ratio of 2.55:1, good for the diesel, should cruise 70mph at 1800ish. You'll see more of the final drive bits later on.
Got a blown up alh for cheap, ate a valve so honed it out until it cleaned up, .004 piston/wall so neatly prepped for severe use. Got together a bunch of used pistons and rods (every ALH I take apart has had 2 and 3 hydrolocked), cut the bowls out and tossed it together.
Tried for a while with a tin block plate, an oil pan and the trans case sitting horizontal to come up with a reasonable angle to mount the block at to make the adapter plate, came up with tilting the engine back 25 degrees (though after drilling the plate and looking at it, 26 or 27 would have been much better). Finally stacked it all up tonight and it's looking like 50 degrees would make for a much more compact package. May well redrill the plate once again.
Anyways, here's some pictures. Car didn't get a picture of it stock, oh well.
and the engine bay, recently vacated

Trans with newly drilled adapter plate, note how the upper right bolt could be a little further up and left, by rotating the engine just a couple degrees more. This is also the one that the hole in the block is a through-hole, with the alignment dowel tube, the perfect storm of "weakened adapter plate"

here's the 25 degree tilt,

other side is here:

Now, these are with the engine at 50 degrees backwards tilt.

nestled in there a lot tighter, makes for a shorter package, too.

Undecided on if I should make another plate, redrill this one, or just run the 25 degrees because lazy reasons. Spent a good few days of frustration relearning cad to overlay the two bolt patterns...
Onto the final drive, on the left is the stock HD final drive, with 3.0x ratio, HD differential gears and open differential, on the right is an abomination. These are very neat in that they have a planetary final drive, not normal gears like an 01m which is why they weigh the same despite being enormously stronger. Also drew me to them for other reasons to be seen shortly.
The 2.86 gears only came in the non-HD differential carrier, no big deal but I don't have an axle shaft or diff cover to fit the non-HD differential. Well, if I'm doing strange things already, may as well go all the way wierd and get a torsen out of the deal. So, on the right to the bottom is a piece of 1018 bar stock turned into a final drive carrier to fit the 2.86 planet gears, with the other end adapted to the torsen center differential from a burnt up ZF 5HP-19FLA that I found for $30.

The smallest spline (34 teeth) way down in there is one side gear, the middle spline is the carrier itself, where it would normally be driven from, and the biggest spline (49 tooth) is the other side gear. They run tubular shafts and all sorts of gears to get the power out of the side gears to the front and rear, I'm doing something a little simpler.

Rather than driving the carrier off the middle spline and needing to use tubular shafts with gears to get the power from the side gear out and around let's just use those three lightening holes as drive keys. Machined three nubs on the final drive carrier to press fit to those three holes. Took a lot of thought to get it measured out, and then even more to how I'd cut it. I'm limited to a manual milling machine with no digital readout, so 'hard mode' on all the machining. All of it done with a rotary table and patience.
The other end of the carrier looks similar to this peek inside, just that it is pressed together with the final drive carrier, disassembly involves heat, and hammering, so no pictures.

Last edited by [486]; October 28th, 2018 at 23:38.
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Old October 28th, 2018, 23:26   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: St.Paul, MN
TDI(s): 02 golf ALH
Fuel Economy: 42 stock, 47-49 now

On to the shafts, the top is a buick shaft, middle is the insight shaft, and bottom is a 100mm CV joint you'd be familiar with in relation to an 02j or a vanagon/bus
I thought about using the bling 108mm CVs, but they cost money while I've got 4 of these 100mm ones sitting on the shelf. The 33 spline is just about the same size as the left side axleshaft that runs through the whole transmission, so strength shouldn't be an issue. Thinking I'll run these 100mm CVs inner and outer, because the stock insight outer is just pitiful. Actually the outer spline is smaller on the major than any other on the minor, so that has me minorly worried. Probably torque the nut up real tight and rely on the flat face contact to share some of the loading. Many people put bigger civic struts and knuckles in these cars while putting in k-series motors to get a bigger outer spline, but that seems... like more money than I want to spend at the moment.

Speaking of axles, here's the center axleshaft that runs through the whole transmission:

the spline actually fit one side gear in the audi differential, poorly. It was about a millimeter smaller in diameter, so it engaged the splines very loosely. Both are 34spl, BTW. The audi diff was going to need about an inch more length, so no matter what, it being close matters not a whit. Here's it pulled out of hiding from that bar marked "4340" in the last pic:

Gosh that's a terrible picture. Still had the metal shaper set up from when I made the shafts for the golf. Ever want to confuse a modern machinist, try and explain what a metal shaper is. They're so obsolete that just about nobody has even seen dang pictures of the machine type. Very handy though.
Anyways, that's where I'm at for now. Don't expect very quick updates, and do expect my normal lack of coherence.
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Old October 29th, 2018, 00:47   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: spiral arm, milky way (aka central NC)
Fuel Economy: golf=38-43mpg...tacoma tdi=29-33mpg

it's a monstrosity in the making but i like it... interesting use of an audi tbd in place of the stock gm diff
'You know what? This is a business.' So, now, I just keep my mouth shut and pet my chihuahuas." Mickey Rourke
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Old October 29th, 2018, 04:09   #4
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ellenville, NY
Fuel Economy: 40-50mpg

This will be interesting because the insight has one of the lowest drag coefficients around, much lower than any A4 golf/jetta platform. Given the size and weight of the car, you could almost run an ALH completely N/A and probably still have enough power.
99.5 Black Jetta TDI; DLC1019 nozzles, G60/VR6, ASV .5mm pistons, EGR delete, ASR/EDL, bilstein TCs MFA cluster.. Beater car. 365K miles and climbing.
99.5 Red Jetta TDI. Saved from the crusher. 270K
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Old November 10th, 2018, 20:19   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: St.Paul, MN
TDI(s): 02 golf ALH
Fuel Economy: 42 stock, 47-49 now

sent the shafts off to the heat treater on monday, took a pic before they left so I'd remember how much junk there was when I go and pick it up, heh

cut the tdi side dowels and the starter hole in the plate, bolted it up to the motor and... measuring with some dowel pins in the holes that I've got for the 4t65 dowels to be located by, they are .020" or more out, and the bad part: in what directions they are out by I kind of lack the imagination to measure.
So, I'm going to redo the adapter plate, this time at 50 degrees laid back. Kind of the ****s because I need to find another piece of 1/2" aluminum plate, but that's life. I could weld up the holes in the one I've got, but that's hokey as heck.

Also going to put the effort in and find someone with a proper sized DRO on their mill to drill the pilot holes. The way I laid it out was to transfer punch two holes, drill them, drop pins in them, then use a 12" vernier calipers to scribe an arc from them at the right calculated distance and where the two arcs lined up I punched, and drilled. Did not think it'd be the most accurate, and sure enough it wasn't. Too much stack up of tolerance.
Originally Posted by turbocharged798 View Post
Given the size and weight of the car, you could almost run an ALH completely N/A and probably still have enough power.
I'm convinced with a good remap, some port work and bigger injection hardware you could get 100hp out of a 1.9 SDI with an acceptable amount of smoke
But, I know how to do the turbo dance, so that's what I do. Were it a manual, I'd quite possibly go the N/A route.

Last edited by [486]; November 10th, 2018 at 21:02.
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Old November 12th, 2018, 13:22   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Ontario
TDI(s): 02 Golf

If i'm understanding your dilemma with the plate right you could cheat and just punch the dowel locations on the mill and transfer punch the rest of the bolt holes. That's what I had to do to get mine on the mill. Dowel locations are the only ones that actually mater. The bolts only clamp.
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Old November 12th, 2018, 18:02   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: St.Paul, MN
TDI(s): 02 golf ALH
Fuel Economy: 42 stock, 47-49 now

well, they're 13" or so apart, I pretty much use a mag-back 1" dial indicator slapped on the table or knee on any occasion I need accuracy
Tried end-measures like you'd see on an old jig bore, but a bridgeport clone crap-mill isn't rigid enough to repeatably deal with the side loads of rigid stops like that, could go back to this and be extremely gentle with it, but I can't find the box that's got my set of end measures any more and setting up the troughs to be level and the stops to be square takes a few hours of hating life.
Tried mounting a 12" chinese digital slide-scale (like a digital caliper without the caliper jaws) but that went very poorly, they're only really any good for plus or minus .010" (if even that) over that kind of distance

Besides, I kinda want to go with steel on the plate with the hp I'm thinking of, and the 50 degree angle will pack in there a lot better. I'll just find someone local with a DRO on their mill and get them a case of whatever they're drinking. Same as when I borrowed someone's surface grinder when converting my injectors over to single stage.

knuckle info: 02-03 EP3 and all years EM2/ES2/1 are 4x100 bolt pattern.

Last edited by [486]; December 15th, 2018 at 20:04.
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Old December 19th, 2018, 20:41   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: St.Paul, MN
TDI(s): 02 golf ALH
Fuel Economy: 42 stock, 47-49 now

Okay, time for an update!
Borrowed a friend's DRO-equipped mill one sunday night at about 10pm, 3 hours away with work that morning. haha Only drilled bolt holes with that, then used those to locate the dowel counterbores on my milling machine, done with a boring head.
As per usual, don't got a pic of the bare steel or even the steel with the holes in it. Have the picture of me cutting the center out with my ghetto circle cutting jig. Cheap bastard oxy-propane for the win.

here's it on the TDI dowels with the unmolested crank flange

then spent a while paring it down

Converter wouldn't sit low enough to touch the flexplate, so I made up a piloted facing tool for the mag drill

could have taken the crank out, put it in the lathe on a steady rest and done it that way, but this way is a lot easier, plopped a flywheel on the adapter plate, clamped it down and magnetted to that. That's a 1/2" bolt as the shank, for scale. 20N jacobs chuck, 3/8" minimum gripping diameter

Still wasn't sitting low enough, needed to ream out the pilot bearing area in the crank, same size (21mm/.825") but deeper. They'd drilled it deep enough just didn't ream it completely. Also had to chamfer it a bit. Tossed a quick 90 deg grind on a 1" drill and used that for the counterboring. Also pictured is the flywheel, 1/4" plate ends up right for 1/16" of clearance for the converter, meaning I'll probably mill it down another 1/16" or so under the bolting pads to get room for the converter to balloon a little.

Assembled the trans final drive for the last time. Had to bore the nose cone cover thing for an hk4516 bearing rather than the 40mm ID hk4016 that the 'heavy duty' differential used. Looking at the picture now I realize that I didn't cut the flange retention snap ring groove on the spline. Rather than take it apart again I'll just do it with the engine running and an angle grinder.

Put together a unit bearing to try and use civic outer CVs on the insight knuckles, found a bearing that was small enough on the outside to fit in the knuckle and 38mm on the inside to fit the civic hub flange

fits on there, bolted on and all, good thing I only made one of them

because the CV hits the bolts well before it gets all the way in there. Going to go the route of civic knuckles rather than the insight ones.

Last edited by [486]; December 19th, 2018 at 20:44.
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 23:02   #9
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: St. Louis

This is some Frankenstein s**t right here. Keep it up!
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